Sunday, August 22, 2010

Acclaimed Pilgrim

During a recent impromptu photo stroll through the Townhouse section of Cheshire Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio, I came upon a large tablet gravestone beside the northern boundary fence. A first glance, I thought I read James Halbert, Acclaimed Pilgrim and stopped for a closer look.

Here rests the
remains of
James Halbert
A colored Pilgrim
died Aug. 1851
Aged 90 Yrs.
There was a long, difficult-to-decipher epitaph as well. I did not have all my “tools” with me (including my reading skills, it would seem), and so reluctantly I left.

The following day I returned with aluminum foil to use as a mirror. Would that make it easier to read? Yes. Was it worth the extra trip? Yes again.

Around his death bed
no pomp or show was seen
Nor friend to ease his
pain or cool his head
But all alone save his God
and conscience clear
he died & his cabbin [sic] floor
his bed
But now he has companions
holy, pure and bright
His hope and trust was in
The God of right.

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